Kobuk Valley National Park

Fact Box

Kobuk Valley National Park
Established 1980
1,669,813 acres
Visitation (2010) 2,092

What do you wear forty miles north of the Arctic Circle?


During the summer in Kobuk Valley National Park, the thermometer can reach 100 degrees. Sand dunes rise ten stories into the air. A massive herd wanders down to a lazy river to drink.

Is this really Alaska? It looks more like the Kalahari.

Kobuk Valley National Park is home to the only active sand dunes within the Arctic Circle. The Great Kobuk, Little Kobuk, and Hunt River Sand Dunes have shrunk to 25 square miles. At one time, they covered twelve times as much area.

When the June thaw finally arrives, more than 300,000 caribou cross the Kobuk River on their annual migration. Archaeological evidence from digs at Onion Portage proves that hunters have stalked the caribou from this site for more than 9,000 years.

You can see Kobuk Valley National Park from a boat lolling along the Kobuk River, from a campsite on the dunes, or from aircraft flying overhead.

There are no roads or services in the park. This is a destination for experienced backcountry campers. Plan your stay and book transport into the park by plane or boat from the visitor center in Kotzebue.


  • http://www.npca.org/parks/kobuk-valley-national-park.html